MEDA Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng's Speech at Casa Adelante - 1990 Folsom Groundbreaking

MEDA Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng’s Speech at Casa Adelante – 1990 Folsom Groundbreaking

Rejuvenation. Rebirth. Re-rooting.

Look around you.

When MEDA took our first look at this land in 2016, we knew we wanted to keep this for affordable housing. We could only begin to imagine at the start of this journey what we would make happen on this site. Flash forward three years and we today break ground — and break bread together — in what was once an abandoned Entenmann’s bakery. In its heyday, this bakery provided factory jobs and affordable goods for our families.

Our vision will be realized by early 2021: Casa Adelante – 1990 Folsom will be a nine-story building with 143 homes in a 100 percent affordable-housing development for our families with 15,000 square feet of space permanently dedicated to renowned community organizations. We call this last piece “cultural placekeeping.”

Bringing our vision into focus for re-rooting our families could never have happened without collaboration.

The Mission community stood your ground to ensure that this ground was earmarked for affordable housing in the Mission, to keep you in place. Your collective advocacy is why $50 millon was dedicated to the Mission from the last housing bond — and Casa Adelante – 1990 Folsom will be built with that money.

It’s easy to forget place when we just talk about building affordable housing. We know home isn’t just the four walls that keep our families here: It’s also the neighborhood in which they live.

You, our community, challenged local, state and federal policies to maintain the diversity of this neighborhood. Advocated for equity to reverse unprecedented displacement of Latinos. Stood strong in the face of the negative forces of gentrification to keep the Mission La Misión.

And we cannot keep place without our cultural bearers who serve our families, providing a home away from home, celebrating our cultures and traditions, and expressing our voices. Casa Adelante – 1990 Folsom will re-weave the frayed fabric of our neighborhood by not just re-rooting 143 households: We will also build new homes and spaces for three organizations vital for strengthening our families: Galería de la Raza, evicted recently from their space after 40+ years of seeding and holding the voices of Chicanx/Latinx artists, both here in the Mission and nationally; HOMEY (Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth), which, sadly, was displaced from the Mission after the last dot.com boom; and Felton Institute, dedicated to keeping the promise of  high-quality early care and education services for our young kids ages 0-5.

Together with Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom just down the street, today’s groundbreaking for Casa Adelante – 1990 Folsom represents another big step forward in keeping San Francisco’s future as the diverse, welcoming city we all treasure.

I now invite to the podium Don Falk, CEO of Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, to explain our vision for this development. We are grateful to them, as our joint venture partner, for sharing their invaluable know-how and experience throughout this process … and the true partnership we have forged in making Casa Adelante – 1990 Folsom a landmark of the Mission’s bright future.

 

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